October 21 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Enough is enough, say residents after learning plans are afoot for yet more gravel quarrying at Aldborough Hatch.
Ron Jeffries, chairman of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, said: “For over 50 years they have had to suffer dust and noise from gravel extraction.
“This is unacceptable. We don’t want any more.”
Brett Lafarge will be seeking permission in the autumn to extract 900,000 tonnes of gravel and sand at Aldborough Hatch Farm.
The work would be opposite the Miller and Carter Restaurant, known locally as the Dick Turpin, and close to St Peter’s Church and homes in St Peter’s Close and Oaks Lane.
The company, which carried out an exhibition and consultation in Aldborough Hatch in 2011, is proposing to work 100m from the church and will allegedly close Bridleway 93 for a minimum of two years, diverting part of it, and building a roadway from it.
Mr Jeffries, 81, of Spearpoint Gardens, which is opposite the proposed site, said his group would fight for the work to be at least 150m from the church and was also concerned about the bridleway plans, which would affect pedestrians, horse riders and schoolchildren, among others.
Jenny Chalmers, also of Spearpoint Gardens, said she was “totally opposed” to further work and believes the area has been destroyed for long enough.
One of the biggest worries is the effect work could have on 151-year-old St Peter’s Church.
The Rev Kate Lovesey said: “We do have very real concerns for the building and for the churchyard, which has real problems with the sinking of grave stones due to the change in the water table, which has been attributed to the works of the gravel extraction in other parts of Aldborough Hatch.”
Upon a planning permission application being submitted to Redbridge Council, the association, which wants to hear residents’ views, will “campaign vigorously”. Mr Jeffries said: “We would really like to see them go for good and never come back.”
Brett Lafarge has completed the extraction work it was already undertaking in Aldborough Hatch, but it is now finalising its planning application for the possible extraction area at Aldborough Hatch Farm, which would extend the operational life of the quarry by about six years.
Simon Treacy, the company’s estates manager, said: “We initially consulted the local community about our plans in 2011.
“There have been some delays to the programme, but we now plan to submit an updated application in early autumn.
“As well as maintaining continued supply of materials to local construction projects, there would be no significant changes to the location of the processing plant, the hours of working, working practices or employment levels.
“What would now be different would be a new scheme to manage the dirty water coming from the old Redbridge Council landfill and a restoration scheme which incorporates some feedback from our last consultation exhibition.
“We are also discussing footpath management with the London Borough of Redbridge to ensure site safety and security.
“We don’t adopt a standardised approach but tailor stand-offs to local environments around specific properties. We base these on the results of the various technical evaluations which are being carried out by independent specialist consultants.
“At Fairlop, the stand-off may not be the same all around the site, but will generally be about 100 metres.
“Once our plans and proposals are finalised, we will distribute information across the local community, which will also be made available via our website.”